MediaFile

Tech wrap: “DingleBerry” rings RIM’s security bell

Three hackers said they had exploited a vulnerability in Research In Motion’s PlayBook tablet to gain root access to the device, a claim that could damage the BlackBerry maker’s hard-won reputation for security. The hackers plan to release their data within a week as a tool called DingleBerry. In a response to queries, RIM said it is investigating the claim, and if a jailbreak is confirmed will release a patch to plug the hole. The PlayBook runs on a different operating system than RIM’s current BlackBerry smartphones. However, the QNX system will be incorporated into its smartphones starting next year. The PlayBook in July became the first tablet device to win a security certification approving it for U.S. government use.

Samsung is set to resume selling its Galaxy tablet computer in Australia as early as Friday, after it won a rare legal victory in a long-running global patent war with Apple. An Australian federal court unanimously decided to lift a preliminary injunction, imposed by a lower court, on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 — but granted Apple a stay on lifting the sales ban until Friday afternoon.

Groupon’s shares rose after CEO Andrew Mason emerged from the company’s post-IPO quiet period to share holiday sales numbers. Groupon sold more than 650,000 holiday deals between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, an increase of 500 percent compared with last year, Mason said in a blog post. Groupon closed the trading day up 9.3 percent $17.50.

Japanese authorities may take weeks to make any arrests over the accounting scandal at Olympus, though initial findings by an investigative panel of experts are due to be released in days, lawyers said. Even if criminal complaints are filed against former executives or others involved in the scam, which dates back two decades, arrests might not take place by end-year. This is partly to allow both suspects and prosecutors to spend the new year’s holidays at home, since the turn of the new year is Japan’s biggest traditional holiday, akin to Christmas in the West. Suspects can be held for a total of 22 days before either being indicted or released.

Toshiba said it would close three of its six discrete chip-making facilities in Japan and also trim output of certain types of chips over the year-end as demand for PCs and TVs slides in the U.S. and Europe. Discrete chips are relatively simple semiconductors used in a wide range of electronic products from audio-visual equipment to cars and mobile phones. The three plants are scheduled to be closed in the first half of the fiscal year starting in April 2012, in a bid to slash costs, with Japanese makers at a disadvantage because of strength in the yen.

Tech wrap: Another brick in the paywall

Vehicles drive past the New York Times headquarters in New York March 1, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonThe New York Times will start charging for full access to its articles on phones, tablet computers and the Web from March 28. You’ll still be able to access as many articles as you want through Facebook and Twitter, writes Business Insider’s Matt Rosoff. Felix Salmon thinks readers will go elsewhere.

Toshiba said an assembly line in Japan making liquid crystal displays would be closed for a month, and PC maker Lenovo voiced worries over parts in the latest threats to electronics supply chains from Japan’s devastating earthquake.

Sales of e-books in January increased by more than 115 percent compared to the same time the year before, a report released by the Association of American Publishers said.

Tech wrap: Netflix gets in the game

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings speaks during the unveiling of the iPhone 4 by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California June 7, 2010. REUTERS/Robert GalbraithOnline video and DVD rental service Netflix is breaking away from its traditional role as a licensor of movies and TV shows , negotiating with actor Kevin Spacey and director David Fincher for the exclusive rights to a two-season, 26-episode remake of British political drama “House of Cards”, a source said.

Media execs who say they haven’t seen evidence of cable or satellite television subscribers canceling because of TV shows and movies available online may not want to break out the champagne, writes Paul Thomasch. The best devices to help cut your household’s dependence on pay TV are an ATSC tuner, digital media receivers Boxee Box and Roku XDR, digital video recorder Tivo Premiere, and small desktop computers Dell Zino and Apple Mac Mini, according to TechCrunch’s Matt Burns.

Electronics manufacturers warned production would be hobbled by further supply and distribution problems as companies struggle with power blackouts after the disaster in Japan. And the impact could be felt in higher prices or shortages of gadgets such as tablets, smartphones and computers for months to come.

CES: Gadgets from the Consumer Electronics Show

The Consumer Electronics Show is underway, with myriad companies announcing new devices and services. Most are cool, although many may never be seen again after this week, if the companies don’t find manufacturing partners or a consumer market that wants these cutting-edge gadgets.

Here’s a sample, as seen through the lens of Reuters photographer Mario Anzuoni.

scuba

A guest wears a Liquid Image Scuba Series HD320, which feature a 135 degree wide angle lens and the ability to shoot HD 720P video.

CES: Toshiba’s Regza gets a facelift this year

Toshiba’s pricey Regza LCD televisions are getting cosmetic surgery this year, the Japanese electronics maker announced at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday.

Not that these TVs need a face lift, but companies do like to make splashy announcements in Las Vegas.

The newest Regza TVs will have “cutting-edge cosmetics” due to its “Deep Lagoon” design, which is “inspired by the beauty and elegance of nature” and provides a 3D feeling, according to Toshiba.